Human Rights in Latin America: Accountability and History in Mexico and Uruguay

Side by side headshots of Debbie and Eben, wearing business casual attire


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During the Cold War, Mexicans and Uruguayans suffered under repressive governments willing to enact state violence on its own citizens. How each nation has dealt with the legacy of this violent period, however, differs dramatically. Considering tools of accountability such as truth commissions and reparations, the panelists examine how Uruguay and Mexico’s own successes and failures to grapple with these abuses can inform discussions on social and racial justice around the globe, particularly in the US. They address the importance of continued grassroots activism and how transnational movements across borders have shifted the norms of impunity. 

Speaker Name

Eben Levey (WWU) and Debbie Sharnak (Rowan University)




Speaker Bio

Debbie Sharnak is an assistant professor of History and International Studies at Rowan University in NJ. Her research addresses issues of transitional justice, the rise of the transnational human rights movement, and the shifting human rights discourse in the 1970s and 1980s. Her book, “Of Light and Struggle”: The International Histories of Human Rights and Transitional Justice in Uruguay will be published with the  University of Pennsylvania Press in 2023.


Eben Levey is a historian of modern Mexico. His research examines the intersections between religion, indigeneity, and social movements during the Cold War.